Animal Rescue Animal Rights

Issue Feature: Kindess is Greatness - Meet Peace for Pits

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

In a recent article published by Esquire Magazine writer Tom Junod revealed some startling information on Pit bulls – a breed he dubbed “The American Dog”. According to statistics, “Every year, American shelters have to kill about 1.2 million dogs. Yet, both pro- and anti-pit-bull organizations estimate that of these, anywhere from 800,000 to nearly 1 million are pit bulls. We kill anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 pit bulls a day. They are rising simultaneously in popularity and disposability, becoming something truly American, a popular dog forever poised on the brink of extermination.”


IMAGES COURTESY OF PEACE FOR PITS BY CAROLYN LLOYD - ALL CURRENT ADOPTABLES

He raised some interesting questions about why and how, we as a nation, have profiled these dogs. As an owner of a pittie rescue, this article moved me to my core. As I was about to close out this issue, I realized that I showcased organizations doing great things for people in their communities, but I didn’t showcase enough organizations doing things for beings that couldn’t do much for themselves; beings such as animals. Just as we have human rights, we have to keep in mind the rights of our animals. Too often animals are seen as disposable. Too often people choose to give up or give away a family pet rather than fight for a way to keep them. Yet, we can’t discriminate against those who relinquish their dogs, they are taking a responsible route to ensure their animal can be re-homed.  Then there are also those who abandon their animals with no looking back. It’s a travesty that animals that provide such innocent and unconditional love (even to those who hurt and maim them) can be left behind so readily.

When it comes to the Pit Bull, the stakes are even higher. It’s a dog with a history, much like many stereotyped and racially profiled citizens of our world. It’s a dog that people make assumptions about without regard to the true nature of the animal. The reality is that the assumptions a majority of people make about Pit Bulls is just false information pushed by the media. As a local media outlet, I won’t feed into the hype. Rather, I want to uplift organizations that are trying to make a difference. The crucified Pit Bull has a special place in my heart. I understand its pain, I have faced that discrimination, that doubt, but just like many of the Pit bulls that are rescued, I too have overcome. That is the beauty behind this animal. They take the good with the bad and overcome. My rescue Ellie, her parents and siblings are prime examples of these animals overcoming a stereotype and coming out on the other side better than before. Yet, it takes a community to save these animals. It’s takes a community to educate the public and it takes strong, kind hearted individuals to help rehabilitate animals that come from heart wrenching circumstances. Chicago is lucky to have a community in the volunteers that work for the Peace for Pits Organization.

Peace for Pits is a Chicago area based rescue that focuses on finding loving, caring homes for “bully” breeds in need of help. Many of these dogs come from “high kill” facilities across Illinois, arriving there as a stray or unfathomably being surrendered by their so-called “owners.” Some of these dogs arrive with severe injuries and other health problems due to neglect and or trauma.  Their mission is to save as many of these dogs from euthanasia as possible.


IMAGES COURTESY OF PEACE FOR PITS BY CAROLYN LLOYD - ALL CURRENT ADOPTABLES

Everything this organization does is to ensure that each dog they rescue lives a life of peace. They are a 100% volunteer run organization, with every dog living in a wonderful foster home from the day it becomes a part of our rescue until the day they get adopted into an amazing forever home. All of their dogs get neutered or spayed, are given all state mandated vaccinations, are micro-chipped, and if needed, receive other major veterinary care such as surgery or treatments for diseases and infections. It’s amazing the amount of love and energy the staff of volunteers puts into this organization.

The dedication the organization puts into making a difference ensures that the rescued pits are placed into loving and healthy homes. The application process for adoptees is rigorous. Intensive background checks, home checks and home trials are completed to ensure the adoption is a good fit. I can remember the process Dwight and I went through this past spring when adopting Ellie, our beautiful 1 year old pittie. It was intense, but it is meant to be. She needed a loving home with strong parents who could lead her down the right path and lucky for us we became her forever home. What touched me most about our adoption was the love and attachment her foster mom had for her. She, like so many of the other volunteer/fosters who are a part of Peace for Pits, worked to train, love and guide Ellie. For that Tamara, I am eternally grateful. Her hard work created a loving animal, eager to please and willing to learn.


IMAGES COURTESY OF PEACE FOR PITS BY CAROLYN LLOYD - ALL CURRENT ADOPTABLES

Pit Bulls are a breed of dog that is scrutinized. It’s a reality that, as a pit owner, I have to be on guard. Not on guard because of my dog, but on guard because of the discrimination she will face. Pits are a type of dog that makes so many Americans uncomfortable. Strangers come from two camps. The camp that sees this dog for what it is: a loving animal and the camp who thinks they are just vicious killers. I can remember going on a hike this past summer with Ellie, Dwight and our youngest daughter Sophia (2). Going about our business, a couple sped up to pass us. Ellie noticed and went to sniff the woman and her reaction was one I will never forget. She screamed bloody murder and jumped.

You would have thought I was threatening her with a gun, but all my dog did was sniff her. Of course the scream scared Ellie, she barked to alert us and then backed off. Yet, what was moist poignant about the encounter was the woman’s parting words after I explained that all Ellie was doing was sniffing to greet, “Well, you know what they say about pit bulls!” We left her with this parting thought, “Yea, we hear about that kind of discrimination all the time, but as a nation that has come so far, we shouldn’t judge people the color of their skin and people like you shouldn’t judge a breed by false information they see on the news and read on the web.”

Organizations like Peace for Pits are game changers for America’s dog. They are giving them a second chance. They are saving lives. They are peeling back the layers of false information to showcase an animal so ready to love if given the chance.  If you are looking for an organization to help this season of giving or wanting to rescue a pittie of your own please consider Peace for Pits. Check them out online at: www.peaceforpits.org.

If you liked this article, you can read more like it in our winter issue! Check it out in its full glory at: www.issuu.com/halfstackmag.

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